Travel-theme books can take you on a virtual trip anywhere in the world. GETTY

By Will McGough

As travel in the coming months becomes less and less of a reality, we’ll have to turn inward to help keep the wanderlust going. There are plenty of travel-themed movies you can check out, and also some games you can play. But don’t forget about good old-fashioned books – arguably, they can stimulate your imagination more than any other form of media. Here are five to check out during social distancing:

The Directions To Happiness

This nonfiction page-turner takes you on travel writer Bruce Northam’s 135-country quest for life lessons from what he calls “unlikely sages,” that is, people he meets from all walks of life around the world. From navigating rivers on a bamboo raft in Southeast Asia to walking across Britain with his father, Northam’s stories are full of life and vivid characters who offer him beautiful perspective into his own life and outlooks. Written for the every day person, these lessons and insights will no doubt draw up your own memories from the road and inspire you to make more.

World Stompers: A Global Travel Manifesto

If you’re tired of canned travel books and experiences, you’ll love the concept of Brad Olsen’s book, World Stompers, “written to motivate and inspire young people in their quests to travel the world.”

“This book introduces a new way of traveling—freestyle traveling—where all that’s required is an adventurous spirit and an insatiable curiosity about the workings of the world,” the description explains. “This global travel manifesto clears up misconceptions about traveling, candidly portrays travelers interacting in different cultures around the world, and encourages young people to get on world travel circuits to become aware of the immense changes happening around the planet.”

Follow Olsen through his travels and make some notes of your own.

Road Fever

Tim Cahill’s book Road Fever is a great fit for anyone dreaming of a road trip. In the book, Cahill charts his adventures from Tierra del Fuego to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, which is made all the more interesting by the fact that he completes the 15,000-mile journey in a mere twenty three and a half days. Along with endurance driver Gary Sowerby, Cahill battles mechanical problems, bad roads, civil rebellions, bandits, and his own mood swings while presenting genuine commentary on the history and situations of the countries he drives through.

A Walk in the Woods

Bill Bryson provides a humorous expose of the Appalachian Trail and thru-hiker subculture, picking up a backpack and a trail map with little-to-no expertise or training. In the book he profiles the many faces he meets along the way, as well as an outsider’s perspective of the thru-hiking community and how it operates. Is he up for the challenge of tackling the whole trail? Those of you who are missing the outdoors might find some happiness in these pages.

River of Doubt

This book combines adventure and historical travel in a way that few stories do. It follows former President Teddy Roosevelt’s journey in the Amazon Rainforest after his defeat in the 1912 election. His goal? To chart uncharted rivers and satisfy his need for adventure. The story is full of remarkable, hard-nosed adventure that we don’t see on the same scale today, and it’s also full of missteps and impending doom that’s sure to keep you on the edge of your seat.

Article Credit to Forbes.